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View Poll Results: What form of payment do you prefer ?

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  • Cash (notes/bills and coins)

    7 26.92%
  • Debit card (Maestro, Cirrus, Eurocard...)

    9 34.62%
  • Debit or credit card, as long as there is no charge/interest

    5 19.23%
  • Credit card (maximum one month, so no interest)

    4 15.38%
  • Credit card (using more than one month credit)

    1 3.85%
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Do you prefer cash or credit/debit cards ?

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Do you prefer cash or credit/debit cards ?

    As I was reading the article Cash is king for Japan's consumers on CNN, I remembered that many Americans like to pay on credit over several months. It's probably no mystery that all major credit card companies (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diner's club...) are American, as this behaviour of buying on credit is almost unique to Americans (and Israeli, have I heard).

    But whereas the Japanese like cash, Europeans do use cards a lot. It's just that debit cards are much more common, and when it comes to credit cards, I don't know anyone who has ever paid over more than one month credit, as there is a interest taken. In fact, I didn't even know that it was possible to pay over more than a month with a credit card before comming to Japan, as the first time I was asked whether I wanted my payment to come in 1, 2 or 3 months (or more) was in Japan. Nobody ever asked in Europe, as I can't think of anybody willing to pay more than they should.

    Debit cards are apparently inexistent in Japan, so I always use my credit card. Japanese credit cards usually have a point system (which I had never seen in Europe) to encourage its use. I already used cards all the time before coming to Japan because it prevents carrying too much cash, but with the point system I really make sure to use it whenever I can - and never over a month.

    What about you ?

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  2. #2
    silent-buddhist Jack's Avatar
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    i simple use whatever makes the transaction faster.
    IF that be cash then i use cash, then you've got to think, most people dont like to carry a lot of money in their pocket.
    So when it comes down to it, cards are a lot easier to go with.

  3. #3
    Angel of Life Kara_Nari's Avatar
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    Im a cash girl. I know how much I can spend, and can start getting depressed about it when it diminishes.
    I have had credit cards in the past, and happily chopped them up. Im useless with money, I would actually rather somebody gave me a daily allowance (of my money, of course) and then I would probably be ok. My problem is that I cant go window shopping, I have to buy at least one thing as soon as I walk out the door of my house. I should be locked up forever in a huge mansion with everything that would make me happy, but not given any money.
    Haha, it hasnt been a problem for the last four months, because I havent even HAD any money. Now that I have a little room to live in with a TV to occupy my time, im happy too, and wont have to go out 'spending'. Then there are the dangers of going to the supermarket... I have never been the type to write lists, and I really really know I should, so then again, I have to limit myself to a certain amount of money to take with me. Then I wander around putting things in my trolley and then taking them out again when I decide I like something else, and then realise I dont have enough money for even half the stuff in my trolley and put almost eveything back until I am left with only maybe 5 things not really needed, but I dont realise that till I get home.
    That is the reason why I now have 5 suitcases instead of the 1 that I bought with me 4 months ago.

    Kara-Nari Smarty-Pants Wiz-Girl of the Southern Pacific Queen of Communication and International Arbitration and Diplomatic Solutions to Hairy Territorial Issues Her Majesty the Empress コクネ・ you quite rightly deserve the title for your individuality !

  4. #4
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    HALF & HALF

    Under $100 I use cash, over $100, credit card. My dad always bugged me about having an emergency stash of cash, so I usually have $100 hidden in my wallet just in case.

    Frank

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  5. #5
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    When you use a credit card, money is an abstract concept. You don't need to carry things of value to make purchases, how novel and yet so very dangerous! Even though the gold standard has been done away with, we still attribute a certain value to our legal tender, and it hurts to give it away, especially when we're exchanging it for crap we know we don't really need. With a credit card, you don't have to watch your money pass from your hands to someone else's, it's easier to just sign your money away.

    I'm generalizing here: I'm not talking about you or the company you run... hopefully.

    Americans are horrible with money, on the individual, corporate, and governmental level. We are so incredibly hung up on the appearance of opulence that we hammer our own economy into the ground.

    On the individual level, we borrow and borrow and borrow, and drown ourselves in a sea of mortgage payments, car loan payments, credit card bills, cell phone bills, etc. We pay the minimum balance that we can so we can keep spending the money we don't have. We struggle to look like our standard of living is so much higher than it should be when we should be living comfortably and actually saving a portion of our earnings.

    This façade is prevalent in our companies, who doctor their quarterly reports and lie to the investors and stockholders to artificially inflate the value of the company's shares, while taking jobs overseas to see just how low they can take the bottom line and continue raising prices on the consumer, who gladly pays for that pair of jeans the equivalent of a year's salary for the person who made them.

    And finally, the Fed, who should be the moderate voice in all this, saying "hey, let's just print more money!" and screwing with the interest rates to do everything they can to keep the next recession/depression at bay. The longer they put it off the harder it's going to hit us, all we are guaranteeing with our hesitation to actually have to go through some tough times is that our children are going to have it that much worse. But no one wants to hear that we have hard times ahead, that we're doing things wrong, that this is going to bite us in the *** (hell, that extends to politics and foreign policy, but that's not the point of this thread). I recently found a 10,000 yen bill in my wallet from a recent trip to Japan and I think I'm just going to hold onto it and see where that note stands in a couple years from now.

    From what I have seen, Japanese people in general are much better with their money, especially saving it (with short and long-term goals in mind). The concept of keeping track of your savings with a little handbook is lost on Americans (what savings?). The difference I see between some American teenage socialite with a Coach handbag draped over her arm and her Japanese counterpart with the same bag is that the Japanese girl had the money to pay for the bag before she bought it.

    I think the fact that it is a cash-based economy over there just reinforces the value assigned to their currency. Americans treat money as if it were worthless.

  6. #6
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kara_Nari
    Im a cash girl. I know how much I can spend, and can start getting depressed about it when it diminishes.
    I think the exact opposite way. As I don't usually exactly how much is left in my wallet and don't take count of all my spendings or keep all cash receipts. I find it easier to track my spendings by paying by card, as I can see clearly how much money I have used where and when at the end of the month (or any day in the case of debit cards). I am not the kind of person who buys impulsively or emotionally anyway, and I don't like shopping for clothes too often (I like to buy a lot in one time to avoid having to waste time going to the shops again later), so my monthly shopping list is mostly limited to food. As it rarely comes to round numbers in supermarkets, cards are much more practical than start playing with coins. However Japanese card machines tend to be much slower than I was used to in Belgium, and they usually print the receipt 3x and have to put their hanko stamp on each of them, so it takes as long as counting cash, but we don't have to carry dozens of annoying coins in the wallet.

  7. #7
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nice gaijin
    When you use a credit card, money is an abstract concept. You don't need to carry things of value to make purchases, how novel and yet so very dangerous! Even though the gold standard has been done away with, we still attribute a certain value to our legal tender, and it hurts to give it away, especially when we're exchanging it for crap we know we don't really need. With a credit card, you don't have to watch your money pass from your hands to someone else's, it's easier to just sign your money away.
    I also don't think like that. With cash, money can be stolen, lost or destroyed. One can also get short-changed. With a credit card, all you have to do is read that the amount is correct and sign. If it's lost or stolen, just call the card company within 24h and any money that may have been usedby a thief will be reimbursed by the insurance that cover all major credit cards. There is no such security with cash. Debit cards are even safer as there is a pin code required for every transaction. In fact, credit cards in most European countries have now introduced a pin code instead of signature since this year (not in Japan though).

  8. #8
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    My Japanese spouse is check card crazy! He never, ever has cash on him and it's maddening! The one good thing about that, though, is that everything we get is paid for since it's a check card. We don't use credit cards much at all. We have a Target Visa card that we hardly ever use, and he always pays off what we have used as soon as he gets paid.
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  9. #9
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    I use a mixture between cash and debit card. I don't usually carry more than around £20 in cash on me (on a rich day!), not because I'm afraid of getting mugged, but because I forget stop by the cash machine! (lol... it's only 30 seconds from my house and I still walk right by! ) I'm not a great shopper so generally it is just food shopping which I do a small amount at a time anyway because I live on a road of shops - very handy!

    I never, ever use credit cards, because I will only spend what money I actually have. I have never taken out a loan in my life, not even a student one, and I never intend to (with the exception of possibly a mortgage at some unspecified time in the dim and distant future). If it's there in the bank, my debit card will be just fine, so I have no need for a credit card - if it's not in the bank, I ain't gonna spend it.

    Debit card is very handy though - I'm not a cash purist.

    Having said that, if I absolutely need to do a 'big shop', like for clothes (I hate clothes shopping! makes me feel like a mutant freak!) I often get a wodge of cash from the cashpoint, then I'm secure in the knowledge I won't risk overspending by mistake. I'm not an impulsive or comfort spender - but my math is not the greatest.

    And, when I spend on debit card, I always have to write every transaction down in my little cash book so that I can check them against my bank statements! I am something of stickler for detail...

  10. #10
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Usually use my debit card. Pay for everything off the net with my debit card. The only time I use my credits cards is in case of emergency. I pay into them every month regardless on whether I owe or not. It means, that more often than not, that the cards owe me and I don't have to worry about paying a huge amount off at the end of the month. It is also a good way of saving for me. Incidently Maciamo, Barclaycard do offer points on purchases with their credits cards in the UK.
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  11. #11
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Personally I use credit cards almost 100% of the time, even for things less than $10 because of their convenience and for the fact that it is not withdrawn from my account until the 25th of the month. Therefore, my money makes more interest as no cash is used for an entire month.

    Also, here in the US (most people are unaware of this) all prices of goods, at all stores, including gasoline has that 2-4% tacked onto the price in case someone uses a credit card. If they pay cash, or use their debit card they are paying 2-4% extra (or whatever the credit card company charges the particular store) as the money is handed over immediately in the form of hard cash or withdrawn from your bank account immediately. I call it "the credit card tax". Therefore, I use a credit card to my utmost advantage. Plus I get points for goods or airline miles for every dollar I spend. I even bought our last two cars with a credit card!

    However, when I do use a credit card it I think of it as cash and NEVER, EVER buy anything, including a car, on credit as I simply abhor buying something for more than it's selling price over time. If I can't pay for it at the end of the month, I can't afford it. Simple as that. Too bad the majority of Americans don't think that way.

    I learned this lesson of borrowing when I was in the military in Japan at the age of 18. I was only being paid $367/month in 1973. I spent all my money and borrowed $50 from a friend until I got paid again. When payday came I paid him back his $50 and was pretty pissed that I now had $50 less for an entire month and really had to budget myself and couldn't party at Japanese bars and clubs much that month! From that day forward I learned to budget my money and was never in debt to anyone again.

    As nice gaijin so eloquently stated above, the majority of Americans live their lives on borrowed money and 80% of Americans do not save anything of their paychecks as they are too much in debt for their houses, cars, furniture, school, etc. Living on borrowed money is an American institution as the US government leads the way in spending borrowed money and leads us to believe that it is quite alright. Plus credit is so easily given here and people are led like sheep to believe that they must have that particular item now even though they can't afford it.

    I think come the end of this year or the first quarter of '06 there will be a severe decline in the American economy as the trade deficit is at record highs, gasoline will be over $3/gal and is mostly bought on credit recently, declaring bankruptcy wiill be virtually impossible come October and, also in October, the minimum payment for credit card balances will rise from 2-4%, virtually doubling the majority of Americans payments overnight. And most ignorant Americans don't even know about these new laws.

    The Japanese are very smart in this regard as, even though their economy has been in the sewer these past 17 years, the average Japanese has not felt it due to their preponderance for using cash for most purchases, budgeting wisely, and staying out of debt. Thus prices have remained largly unchanged and in fact have even gone down, especially for real estate.

    Thanks to learning this most important lesson during my years of living in Japan, if the American economy tanks tomorrow, or gasoline goes to $5/gal it will not affect me in the least as I owe nothing to no one including my own house.

    What really bugged me about this story was the sentence,
    "While Americans pile up mortages and credit card debt, Japanese are reluctant to borrow at all, creating the problem of economic stagnation."
    Why should this lead to economic stagnation? Whose law is it that people must continue to spend in order to expand one's economy? Why in hell must people be led into thinking that we must spend, spend, spend, even if we don't have the money in order to stave off economic stagnation? Why does this sentence lead one to believe that saving one's money is bad for the economy? To me it is just another way they lead the sheeple to the slaughter house by putting them in debt for their own corporate greed.

    To me Japan has faired quite well these past 17 years and can do without the massive debt of the the US population thank you.
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  12. #12
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    I use the card my bank gave me as a credit card. It's a debit card, but I don't use it as debit since I got charged for using it that way at a supermarket.

    What I like about it is that it deducts from my bank account, so I can never pay more than I have in my account, not that I'm worried about speding so much. It's just convenient.
    I owned a credit card once when I traveled in the US because the travel agency told me to, but I never used it.

  13. #13
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    I use debit cards most of the time. Being a college student however, it's not too much of a good thing to have a credit card. Since I am a student, most places won't give you a credit card (I think). In fact, if you are qualified for a credit card, it's only $200 dollar limit on it. For a student, I made the decision not to have a credit while I'm in school.
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  14. #14
    Hi Keiichi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    What I like about it is that it deducts from my bank account, so I can never pay more than I have in my account, not that I'm worried about speding so much. It's just convenient.
    That's the one reason I like using a debit card, that it deducts from your account.
    When you borrow money like with credit card, you run into that risk of having to repay more includes the risk of charges or late fees. At this point, I'm not really too interested in points or anything since I'm not a big spender, so I don't use a credit card unless it's for emergencies. So I might as well just use what's in my bank and increase my awareness of identity theft (but not become paranoid ).

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  15. #15
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    Personally I use credit cards almost 100% of the time, even for things less than $10 because of their convenience and for the fact that it is not withdrawn from my account until the 25th of the month. Therefore, my money makes more interest as no cash is used for an entire month.
    Same for me, but the interest rates in Japan stand at virtually 0%, so I just do it for the form.

    Also, here in the US (most people are unaware of this) all prices of goods, at all stores, including gasoline has that 2-4% tacked onto the price in case someone uses a credit card. If they pay cash, or use their debit card they are paying 2-4% extra (or whatever the credit card company charges the particular store) as the money is handed over immediately in the form of hard cash or withdrawn from your bank account immediately. I call it "the credit card tax".
    I don't think this happens in Europe, as many shops still charge a few % extra for small payments (under a few euros/$). That's why debit cards, and in some countries rechargeable chip cards (similar to Suika or Edy in Japan), are so popular, as there is no minimum limit and no extra.

    However, when I do use a credit card it I think of it as cash and NEVER, EVER buy anything, including a car, on credit as I simply abhor buying something for more than it's selling price over time. If I can't pay for it at the end of the month, I can't afford it. Simple as that. Too bad the majority of Americans don't think that way.
    I think that most of the Europeans I know think like that too. I come from a banker's family and studied economics, but I didn't even know it was possible to spread credit card payments over several months before coming to Japan. That says a lot about the local culture.

    As nice gaijin so eloquently stated above, the majority of Americans live their lives on borrowed money and 80% of Americans do not save anything of their paychecks as they are too much in debt for their houses, cars, furniture, school, etc. Living on borrowed money is an American institution as the US government leads the way in spending borrowed money and leads us to believe that it is quite alright.
    Good that these people exist to allow credit card companies to survive. With European and Japanese customers almost never buying on credit, they would all go bust. That's why I said it's no wonder all these companies are based in the USA, as international as they may be.

    The Japanese are very smart in this regard as, even though their economy has been in the sewer these past 17 years, the average Japanese has not felt it due to their preponderance for using cash for most purchases, budgeting wisely, and staying out of debt.
    My feeling was that the Japanese relied much more on borrowed money than Europeans. This is maybe because I come from the Benelux, which along with Switzerland is known for taking good care of money (not to say that people are stingy/thrifty by nature). But it is also because of the ubiquitous credit companies in Japan, such as Puromisu, Yen Shop, Aiful or Acom, that lend money at rates such as 20 or 30%, and still manage to prosper. I had never seen such credit companies in Europe as it's illegal to lend above the official interest rate (in Japan that would be under 2 or 3%).

  16. #16
    Hullu RockLee's Avatar
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    I lost my visa card when I was in China, and let me tell you, if you have cash, you're happy !! Luckily I had my friends to lend me money + I payed my hotel and airplanetickets.It's true you just have to call and get your visacard blocked, but still...when you lost it, and you don't have friends, you're in BIG TROUBLE !! so 50/50 is a good deal
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  17. #17
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    i like to use my credit card because i get airmiles on my jal card
    but for small purchases i use cash
    now i dont mind using my credit card but b4 i overspent a few times
    im a little more conservative with my spending now

    also in japan, sony and some other companies have introduced Edy which is a prepaid card that can be used in some convenience stores and retaurants
    in fact it is spreading quite rapidly
    i dont know so much about it but some people have Edy mobile phones and i saw one girl getting a drink from a coca-cola vending machine with her phone a couple of months back and to tell the truth it looked a bit tedious

    one guy i know told me he uses the card because it saves him having to deal with small change
    the convenience store closest to hi house employs this system
    he has the card version rather than the mobile phone

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    But it is also because of the ubiquitous credit companies in Japan, such as Puromisu, Yen Shop, Aiful or Acom, that lend money at rates such as 20 or 30%, and still manage to prosper. I had never seen such credit companies in Europe as it's illegal to lend above the official interest rate (in Japan that would be under 2 or 3%).
    i think the credit card interest rate in japan would also be illegal in most countries
    i borrowed money via my credit ard (by accident) and had to pay an exorbitant amount of interest for just one month
    i was so shocked i called and complained
    then checked my credit card documents and found out that the rate was indeed that high

  19. #19
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, I don't spend money full stop. I carry about GBP3 with me, enough for bus fare and a coffee, but I don't usually spend even that. I spend most money online by debit card, same for food shopping. On the rare occasions that I buy new clothes I usually draw out the cash, and spend only that amount. I have never had a credit card. I don't believe in debt at all. I had my student loans, as they were a good deal at the time, with little chance of me having to pay them back. And I have my mortgage, but I am saving very hard towards paying that off as well. Debt is BAD!!!
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  20. #20
    Government Man Doc's Avatar
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    Cold hard cash for me. I know how much I spend, and how much is left over. I also save up my money when I have it all in cash. I hate credit cards because they only put you into an early grave with debt. Most Americans are spending more money that they don't have on credit cards than they do with the money that they actually do have in the bank with cash, check, and debit cards. I find it madding to be honest, and Americans wonder why they never have any money. Why should I charge crap on a credit card just to show off that I have better stuff than everybody else, only to end up being in debt?! People (most anyway) who have credit cards don't know their limit, and spend for stupid reasons. That's why I'll never go with a credit card (although eventually I'll have to one day for emergencies, but that's all it'll be for too). Interest rates will kill you in the end.

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  21. #21
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    Well, I'm a cash and carry kinda guy. Makes life simplier, and keeps my sorry *** out of debt. But I do have a credit card which I use only in emergencies. Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet.
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  22. #22
    ungewöhnlich Furik's Avatar
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    I will NEVER EVER get a credit card.
    I stick with my debit card because it acts like a credit card but it comes straight from your checkings.

  23. #23
    The Geezer Sensuikan San's Avatar
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    I've almost forgotten what cash looks like, smells like or feels like !

    Like so many Canadians/Canadian Residents - it's "debit" card all the way ! Straight out of my bank account - know where I stand - no cash in my pocket. Wonderful!

    I don't know why it is so - but I believe that Canada leads the world in debit card use.

    Hate to use credit card - except for car repairs, other unexpected items, and holidays.

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